In Defense of Intolerance Toward Intolerance

Unlimited tolerance inevitably and necessarily leads tto general intolerance, authoritarianism, dictatorship.

I think of it a little like multiplication with negative numbers. There is no number big enough that, when you multiply it by negative one, it remains positive.

I am a firm believer in the notion that the remedy for a bad idea is a good idea. Intolerance, however, is not amenable to a good idea. The whole point is a prejudiced judgment that some ideas can never be good.

I read an article today about a mathematician and philosopher named Ramsey, John or something. He noted that the fallibility of people isn't an error or something that can be overlooked in the pursuit of an ideal. It is intrinsic to all problem solving and all solutions.

In an ideal world, you would be able to explain to intolerant people that they were, in fact, making the exchange of ideas impossible and thereby making things worse. They would, understanding this, choose the path that would make the world better. But, some people are badly motivated, emotionally immature or selfish and are not able to respond to such understanding.

Like negative one, their participation in the culture will always multiply out to a negative result.

As a consequence, I do not lament the fact that relationships are sundered by political differences. I have no trumpster friends. There were a couple in the aftermath of his election but, I made a decision and shunned them. In at least one case, I am still sad about it but, every time I looked at her, I thought about the monstrous thing she had done. Her presence harmed me.

What I do lament is the rise of intolerance and that is what the right-wing has been about, well, arguably forever, but in my archeology of hate, since Reagan was supercharged by Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan. It is a tragedy.